I am a young man, age 16. I have a couple of points I want to share.
Adolescence is obviously a time of development and that involves sex. Sex, of course, was made by God and represents the marriage covenant. Sin has impacted God’s original design and there can be a bunch of sexual sins. But our sexuality is redeemed because of Christ. That being said, Christians are called to surrender to God’s will and repent (turn) from their sin. The process of sanctification renews our minds and hearts. Therefore, God gives us a new desire to want to commit to Him. There is a daily battle but we already won the fight. People can battle different sexual sins like pornography, sex addiction, or homosexuality and lust. The Bible warns us about giving into lustful passions that feed the human flesh. It is truly a war.
If I could be vulnerable with you, I’m also battling lust. But I don’t want people to misunderstand what the basis of sex addiction really is. Basically, you rely on this to cope with feelings of loneliness, emptiness, and underlying mental health problems. I’m currently being treated for mental illness through therapy and other treatments. It was a decision about a couple of months in the making. I struggled for years and God opened the opportunity to try therapy and it has had a positive impact on my life. Now I wouldn’t say that in those years I gave up on God, left the faith, or gave up spiritual practices, but I was a shell of a person. Part of me wishes that I started treatment years ago. But thank God He loved me through it.
I’m so thankful that there is a website that discusses various topics that are important in the teen years. I didn’t learn much about the topics discussed in school. I would say with this website, I was more equipped to handle the new things in my teen years. I wish I had a lot more sex education at the beginning of puberty. But I had the Bible and God. I only had a couple of sex education lessons in school.
I don’t really have a lot of questions I can think of. How can I accept my normal sexual desire without feeling shame about it? I might be “girl crazy”- meaning I might constantly think about sex or think about women I’m attracted to. I guess things that have already helped are writing, journaling, prayer, acceptance, and mindfulness. Basically, with mindfulness, you bring your awareness to a thought or sensation. Like “I’m thinking about my crush right now and how pretty she is”, and you note the feelings you have attached to the thought. Then you accept it and praise God for sexual desire. Of course, spiritual practices like Bible reading and grounding yourself in the truth should always be involved.
As far as dating goes, I’m simply not ready. I don’t know why society excepts teens to date at a young age. I’m not ready for that level of commitment. It would be fun to be with a woman, but I’m just not ready yet.
I believe that it is beneficial, at least, to talk about these topics. There’s a lot of things to discover. I think I was uncomfortable with developing in puberty at first and wanted to “stuff everything in a closet” but as I learned more I became OK with the changes that come.
I hope you have a good day and thank you.
A few small adjustments in what you said.
- Sex doesn’t represent the marriage covenant. Sex is a right for those in a marriage covenant. “But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does” (I Corinthians 7:2-4).
- “Redemption” refers to the idea of being bought back out of slavery. When we give ourselves over to sin, we become its slave. Jesus redeemed us from this slavery by using his own blood as the payment. “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness? But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18). Our sexuality is not redeemed, we are the ones being bought. Our sexuality is neither morally right or wrong. It can, too easily, be used to commit sin, but the general concept of sex is not sinful by itself.
- We are to battle against sin. “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:10-13). The overall battle has already been determined. Satan has lost. Whether you or I will be a victor or a casualty will be determined by the choices we make in our lives.
It is normal to desire to eat or drink, but it becomes a problem when all we want to do is eat or drink. By itself, eating or drinking is neither good nor bad but it can be used wrongfully. While sex is novel when you are a teenager, it is basically the same thing. When you allow sex to dominate your thoughts, you are going to have problems. However, it isn’t the sexual desire that is the problem, the problems are the bad choices you make because you are focused on your desire.
In today’s society, “dating” has taken on a different meaning. Dating ought to be a time when you get to know a girl and decide whether she is someone you might want to spend the rest of your life with. Dating is not meant to be exclusive, at least, not at the start. However, young people today are in so much of a rush that they treat dating as if it was a marriage but without any covenant vow. Love needs to develop at its own pace. “I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or by the hinds of the field, that you do not arouse or awaken my love until she pleases” (Song of Solomon 2:7). Trying to speed up love by getting naked in bed with a girl always backfires.
Go back to the more reasonable view of dating. Go out with groups of fellow teens who have good principles and enjoy doing things together. If a girl seems interesting, ask her to join you for an event or a meal, so you have a chance to talk with her more. There is no commitment beyond that event. If you want to ask someone else next time, it won’t be surprising or unusual. Eventually, you’ll find one young lady who you like best and then you might start dating only her but that will probably be years from now.